For three years, Three Rivers Land Trust (TRLT) has sought funding through grants and donations from supporters to secure 172 acres in Moore County for permanent conservation. Now, after diligent fundraising efforts and numerous grant applications including the receipt of $100,000 from the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), Three Rivers Land Trust can proudly say that they accomplished their goal. This project, known as the McLendons Creek Bottomlands, will permanently protect 172 acres and directly contribute to protecting water quality and wildlife in the area.

TRLT already owns approximately 2,900 acres in this Deep River corridor area of Northeastern Moore County, and this property adds onto this complex of conservation lands. This region is naturally significant as an exceptional natural area, designated by the North Carolina Natural Heritage program, and the Deep River itself is a High Quality Watershed, as designated by the state of North Carolina. The conservation of this property assists in maintaining this natural area and pristine water quality, protecting species like the Cape Fear Shiner, a federally threatened species, and the Carolina creekshell mussel, another state listed species, both found nearby in this section of the Deep River.

“Projects like this one take time to accomplish,” states Associate Director Crystal Cockman. “Thanks to the landowners who reached out to our organization with a desire to sell their land for conservation who were willing to wait while we raised funds needed, and partnerships like the one with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through their NAWCA grant award, we were able to work to accomplish the goal of protecting this important property.”

TRLT Executive Director Travis Morehead also expressed his satisfaction with the closure of this project, “This is a huge project for the Sandhill region. With this property now permanently conserved, we are making steps towards our goal of protecting local waters in our footprint. With the completion of this project, TRLT has protected over 1,400 acres in 2022. Our organization prides itself on working to expand public lands, save family farms, and protect local waters throughout our 15-county region.”

To learn more about how to conserve your own lands or how you can support Three Rivers Land Trust in their conservation mission, please contact Emily Callicutt, Land Protection Specialist at Three Rivers Land Trust by calling 704-647-0302 or by email at